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Few weigh in on primary

Georgia among 10 states with Super Tuesday votes

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POSTED: March 7, 2012 9:19 a.m.
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GOP presidential candidates prepare to begin a debate in November at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C. The candidates discussed the use of waterboarding, health care and foreign policy, among other topics.

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Aside from national media coverage and stickers that say, “I’m a Georgia Voter,” the average Joe had little indication that Tuesday was a major day in the 2012 Republican race.

Missing from most of Liberty County’s 13 voting precincts were political campaigners and candidate signs, even though Georgia will assign 76 state delegates proportionally for the Republican National Convention.

By 5 p.m. 1,413 of Liberty County’s 24,093 registered voters had come to the polls, according to elections supervisor Ella Golden.

“This is normal for a primary without local interest,” Golden said around 11:30 a.m. “Everything is going well, very good.”

Georgia was among 10 states to hold primaries or caucuses Tuesday, with 419 GOP convention delegates at stake, according to the Associated Press.

In Liberty County, a smaller number of absentee ballots were submitted by press time, and 492 people voted during advanced voting.

At First Baptist Church in Hinesville, where Precinct 12 voters cast their ballots, poll manager Beverly Gross said about 12 of the precinct’s 1,200 voters had turned out just after 10 a.m. Another four voters trickled in as she spoke about the election.

Gross, who said has been a poll manager for about 30 years, said the election seemed slower than in past years.

“This is a slow one … ,” she said. “The one in July will be hyped up a little more, and then the one in November will be unreal — and a lot of people don’t think there’s an election going on today.”

Some Precinct 2 voters, who report to the Shuman Recreation Center, spoke about their reasons for voting.
Hinesville resident Rev. Earnest C. Williams Sr. said a “lackadaisical attitude” was to blame for the slow turnout.

“Whether you like what’s going on, or whether you don’t like it, one of them should cause you to vote, you know what I mean?” he said. “If you don’t vote and you need a change, it won’t happen, and if everything is well and you don’t want a change, it’s going to happen; so you need to make sure you show your concerns.”

Another possible reason for the low turnout is that Democrats did not think the election was relevant to them, he said.

“The only thing I see on TV is Republicans,” he said, speculating on some thought processes. “And I’m a Democrat, and so it may have been that I was thinking, ‘Well, I may not worry about it until November.’”

Operating costs for the election come from the elections/voter registration department budget in the county’s general fund, according to Liberty County finance officer Kim McGlothlin.

The budget amount for the department is $457,375, and its line items include salaries for regular and contract employees, technical, land and equipment.

Neither McGlothlin nor Golden could provide an estimate of the election costs at press time, as the costs vary with each election.

The Liberty County Republican Party will elect delegates and alternates to the Liberty County Republican Convention at 10 a.m. Saturday in the courthouse annex, according to local chairman John Wood.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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